"You know that guy on the lowest rung of the ladder and no matter who's in charge he's on the lowest rung? That's me. I don't trust anyone who wants to be the head of anything." - Anonymous professional rider.
In the last 48 hours the UCI, WADA, the UCI's disbanded Independent Commission and even a lobby organisation led by a gentleman who makes compression kit has released statements on the state of cycling's doping problems. Each press release has been more farcical and ambivalent than the last, with only the Independent Commission coming out of the situation with any credibility after their suffocated attempt to do their job properly.
The governing body had no interest in stopping them, and had no regard for either the health of the sport or the athletes themselves. There were those athletes - in the minority - with either higher moral compasses or simply lower bank balances who couldn't keep up, but cycling's past, sport's past for that matter, is entrenched with cheating and drugs.
Those filling his shoes are the same individuals who persuaded McQuaid into his recent blind fit of ignorance to disband the Independent Commission and enter into a public war of words with WADA. And all along Hein Verbruggen is still active, having been at the UCI headquarters as recently as last week. Word has it, he prefers to sneak through the back door rather than enter through the front lobby.
So as the UCI backs itself into a corner, as the head of USADA goes from television show to television show surfing a wave of his own gleeful brilliance, the levels of inconsistency, hypocrisy and omerta steadily rise. USADA, incidentally told one potential witness not to cooperate with the Independent Commission at this stage.
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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